Wednesday October 20, 2021

The City of Clewiston held their regularly scheduled meeting Monday at City Hall. They touched on various topics such as the success of the Market on Bond Street and the Fall Festival, which both took place over the weekend, changes in mosquito spraying and trash pickup, converting the old septic systems to public wastewater systems, the status of the old police station, the city pool and numerous other topics important to city business. The city also took time to recognize former Public Works Director Sean Scheffler. Sean retired last month after 42 years with the City. He came to us in 1979 to grounds maintenance, and was promoted to Public Works Director in 2002. Scheffler says he’ll still be an integral part of the city just to help out, but write his name in pencil, not ink. Thanks Sean and congratulations.

Two former Moore Haven residents, who were working as Indian River County elementary school PE teachers, have been arrested, after they made their way inside the wrong apartment and one of them got into a stranger’s bed. This resulted in an altercation and shooting. The incident reportedly took place in Vero Beach. Sheriff Eric Flowers says the men had been drinking.  Flowers says, things could have been much worse. (Flowers cuts) As a result, 26 year old Darius Cohen is facing attempted murder charges, and 26 year old Akkua Hallback faces drug charges. 

On Friday, October 8, 2021, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at 669 Evans Rd. in LaBelle as a part of a lengthy investigation into a local Drug Trafficking Organization that affected multiple counties. Over the last several months, HCSOs Narcotics Unit, investigated Michael L. Faz and several other co-conspirators. The investigation revealed that pound quantities of methamphetamine, and ounce quantities of heroin were being trafficked into Hendry County. According to Captain Susan Harrell, beginning back in January, authorities started identifying key players, and were even able to buy drugs various members of the network. This gave detectives the ability to disrupt, and dismantle this Organization resulting in multiple arrests. Several people were taken into custody for narcotics related crimes including: Cleoson Casseus, Nashard Simons, Jay CD Alexander, Sara English, Sandra Thaxton, William T. Smiley, and Malinda J. Sanchez. The subjects were all arrested on various, and some, multiple charges. The agency is still looking for 34-year-old Cody Allen Hoffman and 43-year-old Michael Lee Faz on drug charges.

Jennifer Hood was appointed as the Health Officer and Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties in September. Hood brings more than 21 years of diverse rural public health experience and, has served in various roles within the Florida Department of Health since 2000.  She also worked as a Community Health Manager, a Tobacco Prevention Specialist, and a Family Support Worker with Healthy Families and Healthy Start. Mrs. Hood got both her bachelors and her masters in nursing from the University of Florida. Brenda Barnes, spokesperson for the department says, Mrs. Hood has been, and will continue to be, dedicated to the improvement of the health and well-being of the communities in Hendry and Glades Counties.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida Seaports have open capacity and can meet holiday demand, after warning earlier this month, that kids may not get toys in time for Christmas. Governor DeSantis made the announcement at JAXPORT, where he was joined by the Florida Department of Transportation’s Secretary and Florida Seaport executives. The State says seaports, including JAXPORT, Port Everglades, Port Tampa Bay and Port Panama City, all have availability to handle more cargo. At the event, JAXPORT announced that they will be offering incentives to any company that chooses to bring its business to the port, freeing up backlogs at other ports. Governor DeSantis was able to make the announcement that Florida Seaports are able to meet demand because, according to his office, Florida has invested nearly $1 billion into its seaports to ensure there is capacity to serve as much cargo as possible. The Florida Department of Transportation is scheduled to invest an additional $200 million in infrastructure improvements over the next few years.